Communications Sales & Leasing has made another fiber M&A move this morning. The network REIT has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Hunt Telecom for a purchase price of $170M in cash and equity.
Hunt operates 2,600 route miles of fiber in the state of Louisiana. They specialize in the education and government verticals, with some 400+ such customers, but also boast more than 1500 small business customers as well. Those assets will fit nicely with those of CS&L's division Uniti Fiber, meshing with the adjacent assets of the former PEG Bandwidth down on the Gulf Coast. I don't have a network map for Hunt, but I'm still looking.
Meanwhile, CS&L isn't going to be called CS&L much longer. They are changing names to reflect the company's growing operating divisions, and will be called Uniti Group Inc. They'll also be changing tickers on the Nasdaq to UNIT. CS&L posted its Q4 numbers, including guidance for 2017 of $841-847M in revenue and $712-718M in EBITDA but not including the numbers from Hunt Telecom as that hasn't closed yet.
CS&L, or should I say Uniti, will be paying $114.5M in cash and the balance in stock to acquire Hunt. The company expects to generate synergies of $2.5M per year by the end of 18 months or so. They also closed the deal for NMS, which operates towers in Latin America -- a deal that was announced back in November.
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